University | 6:21 pm | October 23, 2012 | By Amanda Chan

Offensive T-shirt sparks criticism against Amherst

This shirt has received criticism for its offensive images and slogan.
This shirt has received criticism for its offensive images and slogan. Photo by AC Voice.

Since Angie Epifano’s column of sexual violence at Amherst went viral last week, another round of criticism has been levied against Amherst for its allegedly hostile sexual environment — this time, the criticism focuses on clothing.

An Amherst fraternity printed and sold T-shirts last year that featured a bruised woman, wearing only a bra and underwear, tied up and suspended from a spit while roasting over a fire. At the same time, a pig stood at the side of the short smoking a cigarette. The caption of the shirt, which was created to promote the fraternity’s annual pig roasting event, read “Roasting Fat Ones Since 1847.”

In a recent column, Amherst junior Dana Bolger denounced the administration’s silence over the offensive shirt in an Oct. 8 blog post that condemned the school’s sexual culture. According to Bolger, the school chose to hold an “unadvertised, effectively closed-door discussion” about the shirt rather than confront the incident publicly.

“Amherst’s silence concerning the shirt shouldn’t come as much of a surprise,” Bolger wrote. “We’re all part of a larger culture, one that excuses (and often promotes) the objectification of female bodies, the glamorization of violence against women, and the normalization of rape.”

Amherst is the latest college to face criticism on the way it handles cases of sexual misconduct. Just last summer, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ended its 15-month Title IX investigation of Yale’s sexual climate, ultimately making no findings of noncompliance.

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